Posted by Mac Whyte on Jun 29, 2018
In developing a project, whether it be a club based one or a global grant proposal, the assessment of the community needs is an essential step in the process. 
On these page at the RI website, Project Lifecycle Resources you can see that conducting a community assessment is one the 8 steps listed in developing a project; 
  • Align a project with Rotary's areas of focus
  • Obtain assistance with project design/planning and implementation
  • Learn about the global grant process
  • Conduct a community assessment
  • Identify international partners
  • Secure funding
  • Ensure the sustainability of the project
  • Establish measurement and evaluation benchmarks
RI provides a Community Assessment Tools guide that can be downloaded.  You may find that you need more guidance.   A web search of "conducting a community assessment" reveals 76,400,000 results!  Taking the time to sort through, review even 10 sites is time taken away from developing your project. 
So we've done that for you in presenting the "The Community Toolbox website.
The Community Tool Box is a public service of the University of Kansas. It is developed and managed by the KU Center for Community Health and Development and partners nationally and internationally.
The Community Tool Box is a part of the Center’s role as a designated World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Community Health and Development. 
It is a free, online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change. It offers thousands of pages of tips and tools for taking action in communities. Want to learn about community assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, advocacy, and other aspects of community practice? Then help yourself to over 300 educational modules and other free tools.

Under continuous development since 1994, the Community Tool Box is widely used in teaching, training, and technical support. Currently available in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Farsi, and with millions of user sessions annually, it has reached those working in over 230 countries around the world.

The Community Toolbox is easy to navigate as its divided into two areas:

Learn A Skill-Which offers 46 Chapters through which you can obtain more than 300 different sections providing practical, step-by-step guidance in community-building skills.
Toolkits which provides access succinct guidance on 16 core competencies for community work, including how to conduct a community assessment, develop a strategic plan, write a grant, or evaluate your efforts.
The second area is "Get Help Taking Action" which includes:
  • Seek guidance solving common problems and dilemmas in community work.
  • How do you go about taking action in the community? Here is a simple model you can use.
  • Supports for implementing 12 Best Change Processes for promoting community change and improvement.
  • Resources for exploring promising approaches to promote community health and development.
  • Free online courses to support your community health assessment and community health improvement work.
  • Ask specific questions of experienced community members and experts about issues relevant to your community work.
So we're looking for help on community assessments.   Let's go to "Learn A Skill" and then select the table of contents
Once in the table of contents, we find an entire section on community assessments, 3 chapters, and a Toolkit.
Open up the Community Assessment Toolkit.  There you will find a step by step outline of conducting a community assessment, plus 30 links to supporting resources and 15 examples of actual community needs assessments.  Here's one on a Rural Economic Development Project.
In conclusion, this is a well organized, easy to navigate website with a wealth of resources that will benefit in the planning of any project.  And best of all its FREE!
This is a short video on the Community Toolbox  Check Box that is used by organizations to measure and improve the effectiveness of their work.
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